Freedom is in the Focus

How do you eat an elephant?

I ask myself this question whenever I feel overwhelmed, under prepared or over extended. Needless to say, I use this question a lot. As a working parent, a leader of an organization and a husband—there are days I feel as though the weight of that elephant is sitting on my chest. Sometimes it is suffocating. 

Still, I know I can’t give up—I must keep moving forward. The dilemma often comes when I have to decide with which part of my life to move forward first. Which one of these super important priorities needs to happen first? What issue needs to be addressed? What decision needs to be made?

I’m learning that the most freeing thing I can do for myself is to make a mission statement. These seemingly simple statements have the power to liberate even the hardest choice. A mission statement is a filter that breaks the chains of disagreement, discord and ambiguity. 

When the church got laser focused on its mission—or in other words why it exists—my job as the servant leader became easier.  Now, because of this seemingly simple statement, I have freedom in what comes next. I know the mission and can move forward as a result.

It worked so well at the church that Karen and I decided we would do the same at home. We looked at all the things we do well, things we want to continue to improve on and the vision of where we want to be generations from now. 

Our mission is to follow God’s will for our lives intentionally expanding our family through personal relationships while being good stewards of that which God has entrusted us.

The freedom which comes from the focus of a mission statement is unparalleled. We know what we need to do next—whatever gets us closer to the mission statement.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time—whichever bite gets you closer to living out your mission statement.


Want to learn more about mission statements, or what the mission statement of Centerville UMC is? Join us this Sunday as I discuss how the mission is the blueprint for building the long term vision. Traditional worship at 9am and contemporary worship at 11am, all are welcome.